Alternative centres of power class 12 notes

Follow US On

12 Class Political Science Chapter 4 Alternative Centres of power Notes

ClassClass 12
SubjectPolitical Science
ChapterChapter 4
Chapter NameAlternative Centres of power
CategoryPolitical Science

Class 12th Political Science Chapter 4 Alternative Centres of power here we will be learn about Organizations: European Union, ASEAN, SAARC, BRICS. Nations: Russia, China, Israel, India, Japan and South Korea etc.

New Centers of Power : –

🔹 With the end of bipolarity in the world politics , it became evident that new centres of economic and political power could limit the powers of US dominance. The New Centres of Power emerged in the form of European Union ( EU ) , the Association of South – East Asian Nations ( ASEAN ) in Asia , SAARC , BRICS in different parts of the world.

🔹 These organisations tried to transform the countries in the region into prosperous economies. On the other hand , rise of China’s economy has also made a great impact on the world politics.

Marshall Plan : –

🔹 America extended massive financial help for reviving Europe’s economy. Since Marshall was America’s Foreign Minister at that time , it came to be known as the Marshall Plan. Under this plan , the organisation for European Economic Cooperation ( OECC ) was established to channel aid to the western European states.

🔹 It became forum where the Western European states began to cooperate on trade and economic issues. An active initiation of this organisation brought success in paving a path for improving economy and for construction and development of Western European countries , which were ruined in the Second World War.

🔶 Organizations : – European Union, ASEAN, SAARC, BRICS 🔶

The Council of Europe : –

🔹 The Council of Europe established in 1949 for political coorperation. Six west European countries France , West Germany , Italy , Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the treaties of Rome on 25th March 1957 establishing the European Economic Community ( EEC ) and the European Atomic Community.

Formation of European Union : –

🔹 On February 7 , 1992 The Treaty of Maastricht signed establishing the European Union ( EU ).

The European Union : –

🔹The European Union is a regional organization of European countries. The European Union was established in 1992. The European Union has its own flag, anthem and foundation day. European countries have their own currency, which is called ‘Euro’, new members are constantly added to the EU, so that we can find out how influential the EU is. It has nuclear weapons. The European Union has the largest army in the world.

Note: – The European Union tried to make its own constitution in 2003 but failed in it.

Aim of the formation of the European Union : –

  • To create a Common foreign and security policy.
  • cooperation on Justice and Home Affairs.
  • Creation of a single currency.
  • Visa free travel.

The members of European Union : –

🔹 The total number of countries has been expanded 28 after the involvement of Bulgaria and Romania on 1st January. 

🔹 Following are the names of member countries included in European Union : – 1. Sweden , 2. Finland , 3. Denmark , 4. Estonia , 5. Latvia , 6. Lithuania , 7. Netherlands , 8. Ireland , 9. United Kingdom , 10 . Poland , 11. Belgium , 12. Germany , 13. Luxembourg , 14. Czech Republic , 15. Slovakia , 16. France , 17. Austria , 18. Hungary , 19. Slovenia , 20. Italy , 21. Spain , 22. Portugal , 23. Malta , 24. Greece , 25. Cyprus , 26. Bulgaria , 27. Croatia , 28. Romania .

🔶 Older members :- Astria , Belgium , Denmark , Finland , France , Germany . Greece , Ireland , Italy , Luxembourg , Malta , Nelherland , Portugal , Spain Sweden.

🔶 New members :- Estonia , Latvia , Lithuania , Poland , Czech , Romania , Slovakia , Hungry , Croatia , Slovenia , Bulgaria , Cyprus , United kingdom. 

🔹 which had been a founding member of the European Union , left the organisation in 2020.

The European Union Flag : –

🔹 The circle of gold stars stands for the solidarity and harmony between the people of Europe. It has 12 stars , the number 12 is traditionally the symbol of perfection , completeness and unity.

Economic influence of European Union : – 

  • World’s second biggest economy with the GDP of more than $ 17 trilllion in 2016 next to that of the USA.
  • In currency , the Euro can pose a threat to the dominance of the US Dollar. 
  • Its share of World Trade is much larger than that of the USA.
  • The EU has become more assertive in trade disputes with the USA and China. 
  • Its economic power gives it influence over its closest neighbours as well as in Asia abd Africa.
  • It also functions as an important bloc economic organisations such as the World Trade Organisation ( WTO ).

Political and Diplomatic Influence of EU : –

  • One member of EU France , holds permanent seat in the UN Security Council with several non – permanent members.
  • The EU is enabled to influence some US policies such as the current US position on Iran’s Nuclear Programme.
  • Its diplomacy , economic investments and negotiations have been effective with China particularly on issues of human rights and environmental degradation.

Military influence of European Union : –

  • The European Union armed forces are the second largest in the world.
  • It’s total spending on defence is second after the USA.
  • One European Union member State , France also have nuclear arsenals.
  • It is also the world’s second most important sourse of space and Communication Technology .

Factors that limit the ability of the European Union : –

🔹 Some facts that limits the ability of the European Union to act in matters of Foreign Relations and Defence : –

  • In many areas its member states have their own foreign relations and defence policies that are often at odds with each other. For example Germany and France oppose US attack on Iraq.
  • Denmark and Sweden have resisted the Maastricht Treaty and the adoption of the Euro , the common European currency. 

Association of SouthEast Asian Nations ( ASEAN )

🔶 Name of ASEAN ( in English ) :- Association of SouthEast Asian Nations 

🔶 Name of ASEAN ( in Hindi ) :- दक्षिण पूर्वी एशियाई राष्ट्रों का संगठन

🔶 Establishment :- In 1967, five countries signed the Bangkok Declaration to establish ASEAN.

🔶 Founding country :- These countries were Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

🔶 Countries included later :- Over the years , Brunei , Darussalum , Vietnam , Lao PDR , Myanmar and Cambodia joined ASEAN taking it strength to ten.

🔶 ASEAN flag : – The ten stalks of paddy rice represent the 10 South East Asian countries bound together in friendship , and solidarity the circle symbolises.

The objectives of ASEAN : –

  • To accelerate economic growth , social progress and cultural development for properous and peaceful community of South – East Asian Nations.
  • To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law.
  • To create a common market and production base within the ASEAN states and aid social and economic development.

🔶 ASEAN WAY : – Form of interaction that is informal , non- confrontationist and cooperative. 

Three Pillars of ASEAN Community : –

  • ASEAN Socio – Cultural Community
  • ASEAN Security Community
  • ASEAN Economic Community

ASEAN Socio – Cultural Community : –

🔹 The ASEAN Socio – Cultural Community is all about realising the full potential of ASEAN citizens. It is working towards the following aims :-

  • A committed , participative and socially responsible community for the benefit of ASEAN people.
  • A sustainable community that promotes social development and environmental protection.

ASEAN Security Community : –

🔹 The ASEAN Security Community was based on the notion to avoid territorial disputes , so that it would not develop into armed confrontation.

ASEAN Economic Community : –

🔹 ASEAN is principally an economic association , while the ASEAN region is much smaller economy than US , the EU and Japan’s economy is growing much faster. The objectives of ASEAN Economic Community are :- 

  • To create a common market and production base within ASEAN states to aid social and economic development in the region.
  • To improve the existing ASEAN Dispute Settlement Mechanism for resolving economic dispute.

The ASEAN Regional Forum ( ARF ) : – 

🔹 Established in 1994 , it is the organisation that carries out coordination of security and foreign policy.

Relevance of ASEAN : –

  • ASEAN has focused on creating a Free Trade Area ( FTA ) for investment , labour and services.
  • The USA and China have already moved fast to negotiate FTA with ASEAN.
  • India signed the FTA with two members – Singapore and Thailand.
  • ASEAN is the only regional association in Asia that provides a political forum where ASEAN countries and the major powers can discuss political and security concerns.

South Asian Association for Regional Coorpperation ( SAARC ) : –

🔶 Name of SAARC ( in English )  :- South Asian Association for Regional Coorpperation

🔶 Name of SAARC ( in Hindi ) :- दक्षिण एशियाई क्षेत्रीय सहयोग संगठन

🔶 Establishment :- SAARC was established on December 8,1985 with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka , Bangladesh.

🔶 Headquarter and Secretariat of SAARC :- Kathmandu Nepal

🔶 Members Country : – India , Bangladesh , Bhutan , Maldives , Nepal , Pakistan , Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Afghanistan become a member of SAARC at the 13th annual Summit in 2005 .

🔶 observers Countrys :- There are currently nine observers to SAARC namely :- Australia, China, Iran, The European Union, Japan, Mauritius, The United States of America, The Republic of Korea, Myanmar.

Objectives of SAARC : –

  • To promote the welfare of the people of South Asia and to improve their quality of life.
  • To accelerate economic growth , social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realise their full potential.
  • To contribute to mutual trust , understanding and appreciation of one another’s problem.
  • To strengthen cooperation with other developing countries.

SAARC and its Importance : –

🔹 SAARC comprises 3 % of the world’s area , 21 % of the world’s population and 5.21 % of the global economy.

🔹 Creating Synergies SAARC countries have common tradition , dress , food and culture and political aspects there by synergising their actions. SAARC has initiated SAFTA to free trade zones for whole South Asia.

🔹 Common Solutions All SAARC countries have common problems and issues like poverty , illiteracy , malnutrition , natural disasters , internal conflicts , industrial and technological backwardness , low GDP and poor socio – economic condition.

South Asian Free Trade Area ( SAFTA ) : –

🔹 The spirit behind the idea of SAFTA is that all countries in this region allow free trade across the borders. The agreement was signed in 2004 and come into effect on 1st January 2006.

Significance of SAARC for India : –

🔶 Economic Integration : – India’s Look East Policy links South Asian economies with South – East Asia will bring further economic intergration and prosperity to India mainly in the Service sector.

🔶 Geostrategic Significance : – It can counter China through engaging Nepal , Bhutan , the Maldives and Sri Lanka in development process and economic cooperation.

🔶 Regional Stability : – SAARC can help in creation of mutual trust and peace within the region.

🔶 Global Leadership : – Role It offers India a platform to showcase its leadership in the region by taking up extra responsibilities.

Limitations of SAARC : –

  • SAARC is growing at a slow pace due to the political differences among its member states.  
  • Conflicts between India and Pakistan led t bilateral issues like Kashmir issue.
  • India’s neighbours feared that India intends to dominate them by influencing at the political and societal level.
  • SAARC members in majority belong to developing or least developing countries which creates insufficiency of funds.


🔹 The term BRICS refers to Brazil , Russia , India , China and South Africa respectively.

🔹 BRIC was founded in 2006 in Russia . BRIC turned into BRICS after the inclusion of South Africa in its first meeting in the year 2009.

Conference of BRICS : –

🔹 The 12th conference of BRICS was concluded in Russia in 2020. It was chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

🔹 The 13th Conference of BRICS was held in India in June 2021 under the Chairmanship of India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Objectives of BRICS : –

  • To co – operate and distribute mutual economic benefits among its members besides non – Interference in the Internal policies of each Nation and mutual equality.
  • To enhance and diversify trade and investment cooperation that support value addition among the BRICS countries.
  • To enhance market access opportunities and facilitate market interlinkages.
  • BRICS is emerging as a new and promising political – diplomatic entity with diverse objectives , far beyond the original objective of reforming global financial institutions.

Importance of BRICS for India : –

🔹 India can benefit from collective strength of BRICS by way of consultation and cooperation as well as topical global issues , such as international terrorism , climate change , food and energy security , reforms of global governance institutions etc. 

🔹 India remains engaged with the other BRICS countries on its NSG membership.

🔹 The New Development Bank ( NDB ) will help India to raise and avail resources for their infrastructure and sustainable development projects.

🔶 Nations : – Russia, China, Israel, India, Japan and South Korea 🔶

Russia : –

  • Russia became the successor of USSR in 1991. 
  • Russia’s GDP is currently eleventh in the world. 
  • Russia has reserves of minerals , natural resources and gases that make it a powerful country in the Global world.
  • Russia is also the parmanent member of the United Nations Security council. called P – 5.

🔹 Russia emerged as the strong successor of USSR ( Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ) , after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1980’s and the early 1990’s.

🔹 Russia is a nuclear state with a huge stock of sophisticated weapons . It is also a permament member of the UN Security Council , called P – 5.

🔹 Russia’s economy is a mixed and transitional economy of upper – middle income . Russia’s GDP is currently at eleventh position in the world .

China : –

🔹 After the inception of the Peole’s Republic of China in 1949 following the communist revolution under the leadership of Mao , its economy was based on the Soviet model.

🔹 China has been growing as an economic power since 1978. It is estimated to overtake US as the world’s largest economy by 2040. Factors like population , landmass , resources , regional location and political influence adds to its power along with a strong economy.

🔹 Trade barriers were eliminated only in Special Economic Zones ( SEZs ) where foreign investors could set up enterprises. China has become the most important destination for foreign direct investment ( FDI ) anywhere in the world.

🔹 China has large foreign exchange reserves that now allow it to make big investments in other countries . China is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council , called P – 5.

Steps taken by China that led to the rise of its economy : –

  • China ended its political and economic isolation with the establishment of relation with the United States in 1972.
  • Four modernization in the field of agriculture , industry , Science and Technology and military in 1973.
  • ‘ Open door policy ‘ to generate higher productivity by investments of capital and Technology from abroad and economic reforms in 1978.
  • The privatization of agriculture in 1982 who was followed by the privatization of industry in 1998.
  • Special Economic Zones where foreign investors could set up Enterprises.

New Economic Policy of China : – 

🔹 Major policy decisions were taken in the 1970’s by the Chinese leadership. China ended its political and economic isolation with US in 1972. 

🔹 Premier Zhou Enlai proposed Four modernisations i.e. agriculture , industry , science and technology and military in 1973. Later in 1978 , Deng Xiaoping announced the Open Door Policy and economic reforms in China.

🔹 Open door policy was to generate higher productivity by investments of capital and technology from abroad. Market economy was adopted and their economy was opened step by step.

🔹 Agriculture sector was privatised in 1982 followed by privatisation of industry in 1998. Trade barriers were eliminated in Special Economic Zones ( SEZ’s ) where enterprises were set by the foreign investors.

Impact of New Economic Policy : –

  • Privatisation of agriculture resulted in rise of agricultural production and rural incomes which helped the rural economy growth at a faster pace. 
  • The new trading laws and creation of Special Economic Zones attracted foreign players and foreign trade.
  • China has become an important place for Foreign Direct Investment ( FDI ) in the world. Now , China has large foreign exchange reserves which allow it to make big investments in other countries.
  • China’s accession to the WTO in 2001 also helped its opening to the outside world.

Israel : –

🔹 Israel has also emerged as one of the most powerful nations in the 21st century in terms of science and technology , defence and intelligence.

🔹 Israel being a small Jewish – Zionist nation is placed in the contemporary global politics in general and the Arab – dominated West Asian politics in particular.

🔹 Israel’s economy is a well – developed free – market economy that is technologically advanced. After the United States , it has the world’s second – largest number of start – up enterprises.

🔹 Its top exports include cut diamonds , high – tech equipment , and pharmaceuticals . Crude oil , foodstuffs , raw materials , and military equipment are among the country’s main imports.

India : –

🔹 The 21 ” century India is being seen as an important emerging global power. The world is experiencing the power and rise of India in a multidimensional way. The economic , cultural , strategic position of the country with a population of more than 135 crores is very strong.

🔹 From an economic perspective , targeting the goal of a $ 5 trillion economy , a competitive huge market , an ancient inclusive culture with 200 million people of Indian Diaspora spreading across the globe impart distinct meaning and salience to India as a new centre of power in the 21 ” century.

🔹 From a strategic perspective , the military of India is self – sufficient with indigenous nuclear technology making it another nuclear power. 

🔹 ” Make in India ‘ scheme in technology and science is another milestone of Indian economy. All these changesare making India an important centre of power in the present world.

Reason Why India view themselves as new centers of powers in global politics : –

  • Large population of more than 135 crores. 
  • India has a fast developing economy.
  • India has adopted free trade policy and privatisation. 
  • India has attained nuclear capability in the military sector. 
  • India is the world’s largest democracy.

Japan : –

🔹 Japan is a small country. Its area is 377,975 square kilometers and its population in 2021 estimate stood at 125,927,902. During the Second World War it had to suffer much devastation and a humiliating defeat. But today Japan is a leading economic power. 

🔹 It is one of the most industrially advanced countries of the world and has made great advances in technology and science. Japan principal industries are automobiles ( Suzuki , Toyota , Honda , Mazda , and others ) , ceramics , shipbuilding and precision instruments.

  • Japan became a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1964.
  • The economy of Japan is the third largest economy in the world in 2017. 
  • Japan alone is included in the countries of Group – 7 (G – 7) among the countries of Asia. 
  • Japan ranks eleventh in the world in terms of population. 
  • Japan is the only country to have suffered the brunt of an atomic bomb.
  • Japan contributes 10 percent to the United Nations budget. 
  • Japan is the second largest country in terms of contribution to the United Nations budget. 
  • Japan has a security alliance with the US since 1951. 
  • Although Japan’s military expenditure is only 1 % of its GDP.

Related Chapters

The Cold War Era ( Deleted )
The End of Bipolarity
US Hegemony in World Politics ( Deleted )
Contemporary Centres of Power
Contemporary South Asia
International Organisations
Security in the Contemporary World
Environment and Natural Resources

Legal Notice

This is copyrighted content of GRADUATE PANDA and meant for Students and individual use only. Mass distribution in any format is strictly prohibited. We are serving Legal Notices and asking for compensation to App, Website, Video, Google Drive, YouTube, Facebook, Telegram Channels etc distributing this content without our permission. If you find similar content anywhere else, mail us at We will take strict legal action against them.

All Classes Notes